Employment benefits and laws in 2022: all you need to know

4 August 2022 by Robin - 13 minutes of reading time

employment benefits in 2022

If you are employed, there are a number of employment benefits you could claim. In fact, this could be true if you are self-employed or a new parent. Furthermore, you may not be discriminated against, and there are certain rules that need to be followed like Maximum Working Hours. Lastly, there are taxes to be paid, like Income Tax. Your Benefits will tell you everything you need to know about employment benefits and rules.

Can new mothers get paid time off?

You may be a mother. If this is the case, you could be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay. In fact, it is a benefit that pays newly made mothers. You could be entitled to receive both payments, and time away from work, through Maternity Leave.

There is a certain amount you are entitled to for the first 6 weeks. Then, there is a different amount for the following 33 weeks. They are as follows:

  1. The first 6 weeks: 90% of your average weekly earnings before tax;
  2. The following 33 weeks: either 90% of your average weekly earnings or £151.97. The one that is chosen is whichever amount is lower.
You will receive this benefit at the same rate that you are paid your wages. If they are paid monthly, you will receive them monthly. Additionally, you will pay National Insurance and tax on what you receive.

You may be pregnant but unable to receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). If this is the case, you could be eligible for Maternity Allowance. It is a benefit awarded weekly.

How much you get with Maternity Allowance depends on your situation. You could earn the following amount:

Maternity Allowance amount in 2022
Work situation Weekly pay
Employed, or recently stopped working £151.97 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is less)
Self-employed Between £27-£151.97
Unpaid work for your civil partner’s business £27

You retain your employee rights while taking Maternity Leave. Moreover, these rights are also protected while under other benefits, like Shared Parental Leave. Your employee rights include a couple of things. More accurately: your ability to get holidays, increases in pay, and going back into work.

Can new fathers get paid time off?

If you were recently made, or will soon be a father, you could be eligible for Paternity Pay and Leave. In fact, it is one of the benefits that an employee is likely to be eligible for.

Your partner doesn’t need to be giving birth for you to earn the benefit. More specifically, you could be adopting, or having a surrogacy arrangement. Then, you could get one or all of the following:

  • Shared Parental Leave and Pay;
  • Paternity Pay;
  • 1 or 2 weeks of paid Paternity Leave.
Although you could be eligible for both leave and pay, it is possible you may only earn one or the other. Additionally, your leave cannot start before the birth of your baby. Lastly, it cannot go for longer than 56 days after the birth of your baby.

What is unpaid parental leave?

Unpaid parental leave is unpaid leave that parents can take to care for their children. In fact, there are a number of things that parents can do with unpaid parental leave.

It is advised that you read about other benefits like maternity or paternity leave. Indeed, you can get time to take care of your child while also being paid. As such, make sure that you have taken all the time off that you can before taking unpaid time off.

There are certain rules to how you can take unpaid parental leave. In fact, you may not simply take individual days off as you wish. Moreover, you need to take your unpaid parental leave in chunks

What is Adoption Leave and Pay?

You may adopt a child, or give birth to one through surrogacy. If this is the case, you could be eligible to get Adoption Leave and Adoption Pay. Indeed, with Adoption Leave, you could receive up to 52 weeks off work. Additionally, with adoption pay, you may receive up to 90% of your weekly salary for 39 weeks.

You may be eligible for Adoption Pay and Adoption Leave if you are adopting from within the UK or abroad. Furthermore, this is also the case if you are having a child through a surrogacy agreement. However, the rules for how to proceed are not exactly the same depending on which you are doing.

Can I get benefits if I find work and live in Scotland?

You may live in Scotland. Furthermore, you may have found work again after being unemployed. In this case, you may be able to receive Job Start Payment. In fact, this benefit consists of a one-off payment.

You can receive one of two rates. Indeed, the rate you receive depends on whether or not you are the main carer for children. Your eligibility for this benefit depends on whether you are a young individual or a carer leaver. You can claim this benefit up to 3 months after receiving your job offer.

There are also other benefits you could be able to get. In fact, this is especially the case if you are unemployed. Your Benefits writes many articles on all the benefits you could get. Visit the articles linked throughout to learn more.

What is my employment status?

What is my employment status?

Your employment status is determined by the type of work that you engage in. Then, this determines your rights and the benefits that you could receive. You could be considered a worker, employee, self-employed, or an office holder, among others.

Employment contracts are for individuals who are employed. In fact, if you are a worker or employee, you very likely have an employment contract. This can be in a written form, but it does not have to.

If you are considered a worker, it’s possible that you do not have access to many of the benefits listed in this article. Indeed, this is because, compared to employees, workers have rather limited rights

Working Tax Credit is a benefit you may earn if you already get Child Tax Credit. It is one of the benefits that an employee can earn. Furthermore, if you are depressed and employed, there are things you could ask for.

What are an agency worker’s rights?

Agency workers’ rights are different from typical employee rights. However, this depends on how long someone worked for an agency, as well as the type of agency that the person is in.

If you are using an agency, like a recruiting agency, you could be an agency worker. Then, you would typically have rights similar to worker’s rights. However, you may work for an agency for a certain amount of time. Then, you would be able to have the same employment rights as employees. 

Agency workers may give notice to cancel services provided by an agency. Indeed, this is the case if they provide the appropriate notice for the service that they wish to cancel.

Agency workers also have things such as maternity rights. Indeed, you cannot be discriminated against for breastfeeding, being pregnant, or having given birth. If that is the case, you could take legal action. 

Furthermore, modelling and entertainment agencies cannot share your information online or in publications without your authorization. Indeed, you also have a period of time when you can choose not to let the agency share your information, at no cost to you. 

What is flexible working?

If you want to change the way that you work, you can request flexible working from your employer. Then, you will be able to either work less hours, change when you have to work, or change your working method altogether.

There are multiple different types of flexible work. Indeed, if you would like to work from home, that is a type of flexible work. You would have to request this from your employer. However, they have a right to refuse the request, if it could hurt the business in any way.

What is dismissal?

Your employer could end your employment. Indeed, they could give you notice, but may not do so. This is called dismissal. Typically, your employer will need to have an appropriate reason. Additionally, the manner in which they dismiss you needs to be appropriate.

Dismissal cannot be an excuse to discriminate against workers. This includes workers with a long-term illnessdisabilitypart time or fixed term employment.

There are also two other times of dismissal: constructive and unfair dismissal. In fact, both of these are types of dismissals that are either unfair or recommended.

What is redundancy?

Redundancy is a type of dismissal. It can be used when an employer decides to reduce the number of workers or employees that they have. Then, you could be able to receive Statutory Redundancy Pay. In fact, how much you could receive depends on how long you worked in the company.

Your employer may choose to make redundant 20 employees or fewer. Then, there are certain rules that may apply. In fact, this is true in part for things such as meetings and consultations. There need to be set up so that your boss can tell you why you are being made redundant, in part. 

You could be eligible for Statutory Redundancy Pay. Then, you would receive payments if you are made redundant. However, there is a limit on how much you could get, and for how long.

What is Maximum Working Hours?

If you are employed, you may not work more than a certain amount. Indeed, there is a set maximum working hours that you can work weekly. However, this amount is a weekly average. Indeed, you cannot work more than 48 hours per week, when calculated in an average of 17 weeks. 

What this means is that if you work more than 48 hours on certain weeks, you might still be within the law. Indeed, if your average weekly working hours weekly is 48 hours, then you are in the clear.

Also note that the average period may not be 17 weeks for everyone. Indeed, for certain workers, it may be more. Then, you would need to calculate your average weekly hours over a longer period of time.

You can opt out of this law, and work for more than 48 hours weekly. Indeed, you may do so and notify your employer. Do so in writing. However, note that your employer cannot force you to opt out or opt back in to the 48 hour work week.

How can discrimination be prevented in the workplace?

It’s important for employers to prevent discrimination in their workplace. In fact, there are certain things you can and cannot do, like asking questions during a job interview about certain characteristics.

You could be able to raise a grievance at work. In fact, this is the case if something that is hindering your mental state or ability to work at your workplace has been going on. This could be unfair treatment, up to harassment and discrimination.

It’s also important to make sure that no discrimination occurs in the workplace because, as an employer, you are responsible for it, even if it is perpetuated by your employees.

You could be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal. In this case, you would then be able to take your employer, trade union or potential employer to court. Then, the court would decide what to do about your claim.

What is whistleblowing?

What is whistleblowing?

You may be aware of wrongdoings going on at your workplace. Furthermore, those wrongdoings could impact the public at large. Then, you could ‘blow the whistle‘ on these actions. Indeed, you would then be able to call out certain dangerous behaviors, wrongdoings or negligence

Note that calling out discrimination in the workplace and whistleblowing are often very different. Indeed, calling out things through whistleblowing needs to be done because the actions or wrongdoings can impact the greater public.

You may want to call out things like discrimination happening in the workplace. However, if such discrimination does not impact the general public in any way, you will not be able to be legally protected if you ‘blow the whistle‘.

Am I entitled to holidays?

You may be employed. Then, you can build up holiday entitlement. In fact, you are entitled to paid leave. How much depends on how often you work, as well as the type of work that you do.

Typically, you will get 5.6 weeks’ worth of paid leave. Furthermore, although your employer may refuse to accept leave for a certain period, they cannot simply systematically refuse to let you take time off. 

Indeed, as a worker, holiday entitlement is your right. As such, you may even take your remaining holidays after giving notice that you wish to stop working for your employer.

You may have quit your job. If this is the case, and you have not been able to take all of your remaining paid leave, your employer needs to pay the amount appropriate to how much leave you did not take.

What is Income Tax?

Income Tax is a type of tax that you have to pay on income. In fact, this may also be the case for a number of state benefits. Depending on the benefit that you receive, you may or may not have to pay Income Tax. The article linked has a list of the affected benefits.

When it comes to Income Tax, there is also an amount of income that you may receive tax-free before having to pay Income Tax on your earnings. Indeed, depending on your situation, this amount may or may not be high.

What is the National Minimum Wage?

The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage are the amounts that you have to be paid at the minimum. In fact, your employer may not pay you less than the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage. Whichever applies to you depends on your situation.

The National Minimum and Living Wages are reset every year. More specifically, on a certain date every year. The article linked above contains the current Minimum Wage and Living Wage rates for 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023.

Can I earn benefits if I am self-employed?

If you are self-employed, you could earn get certain benefits. In fact, this includes Universal Credit. Then, you would need to work with a work coach. Then, being self-employed, you could do a Self Assessment tax return. You can do this by post or online.  Furthermore, you can make changes to your claim. 

There are a number of different reasons for which you may want to fill a Self Assessment tax return. Then, you will need to do it yourself. Through your Self Assessment, you can pay your Income Tax. Usually, your Income Tax is subtracted automatically from your pensions or wages.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was one of the benefits that someone who is not an employee could earn. Indeed, you would need to fit a list of qualifications in order to be eligible for the scheme. However, note that this scheme was closed to new applications on 30 September 2021.

Furthermore, after this date, you can no longer be furloughed. Additionally, for those who are self-employed, there exists another scheme. If your self-employment was impacted by coronavirus, you could be eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

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